THE Solent has shown off its £5.8billion maritime economy to a national body which is holding its first post-Covid conference in the region.
The visit of the Maritime UK National Council yesterday highlighted the region’s role as the ‘beating heart’ of the global maritime sector.
Maritime UK is the country’s umbrella body for the maritime sector, which is believed to support over a billion jobs and contribute £46.1 billion to the economy.
Anne-Marie Mountifield, Chair of Maritime UK Solent, who has been a member of the Maritime UK National Council for over three years, said: “It is an honor for Maritime UK Solent to host the National Council for the first in-person meeting. after so long.
“It highlights the level of success achieved by our regional cluster, and the significant contribution to the regional and national economy made by the maritime sector of the Solent.
“In the last year alone we have seen the first commercially available shore power at the new Horizon Cruise Terminal in the Port of Southampton, the successful bid for the Solent Freeport and a maritime Business grow to over 600 local businesses of all sizes.
“The Solent has 340 miles of coastline, three islands, three peninsulas, three major international ports of entry, an emerging free port, world-class training institutions and a rich maritime heritage.
“All of this generates a powerful £5.8 billion maritime economy, making the Solent the beating heart of the global marine and maritime sector.
“The National Council’s choice to visit the Solent to restart our regular strategy meetings following the Covid restrictions, provides a welcome opportunity to showcase our thriving maritime sector and the maritime strengths and innovation of the Solent on the national stage.”
READ MORE: Plans announced to install second shore power connection at Port of Southampton
Ben Murray, Managing Director of Maritime UK, said: “There is incredible energy in the maritime sector at the moment, and the Maritime UK National Council has a lot to discuss. From the National Shipbuilding Strategy to decarbonization and pandemic recovery, maritime leaders are working together to ensure we are on track to achieve our Maritime 2050 ambitions. The Solent has a central role to play in this mission, and we are therefore delighted to be gathered in the region for this important meeting.
The national council was held at the international port of Portsmouth.
Mike Sellers, Port Manager, said: “We are delighted to host Maritime UK’s National Council meeting. The maritime sector is crucial to the economy and we are committed to providing opportunities that showcase the vital role this industry plays.